The shopping capital of NYC, SoHo is for those whose bank balance impresses as much as their personal style. Stretching from Houston to Canal, the iconic cast-iron streets are a smorgasbord of high-end boutiques, global brands and the occasional locals’ spot. But not every store deserves that SoHo footfall.
The area is an archetype of gentrification, which means a glut of global retailers who’ve slowly pushed out the one-offs. But nestled among the banner brands are some gems that justify the trip downtown. To help you navigate one of busiest neighbourhoods in the city, we’ve compiled a rundown of the best stores, eateries, drinking establishments and more, all worthy of a New York minute (and maybe a little longer than that).
Where to Shop
The Alabama native’s New York outpost offers few East Coast nods. Decked out like a Lost Cause hunting lodge, Billy Reid is a mecca for timeless menswear pieces.
But there’s also on-trend grabs, like the athleisure-inspired boiled wool track pants ($149.50), which are more Empire State than good ol’ boy.
54 Bond St, (212) 598-9355; billyreid.com
If simplicity is what A.P.C. does best, then its Bond Street spot (the brand’s fourth in New York) is firmly on-brand. Whereas the flagship offers close to the entire range, here the collection is more curated, with staples like the Meca camouflage sweatshirt ($220) housed in timber-and-glass cabinets that give the space the feel of a high-end, Scandinavian gym locker.
Long-standing fans should decamp straight downstairs to the A.P.C. denim lounge, for a hands-on with anything from the Parisian label’s ubiquitous New Standard Raw Denim ($185) to the collection of pre-worn Butler jeans. For when you don’t feel like breaking them in yourself.
49 Bond St, (212) 966-0049; usonline.apc.fr
Carhartt is about as iconic as American workwear comes, and its SoHo store is a suitably Spartan nod to the locale’s metalworking history. With exposed brick and an aesthetic as industrial as the brand’s original wares, the space houses a pared-down selection of hardwearing staples, complete with a street and skate edge.
119 Crosby St, (212) 219-2934; carhartt-wip.com
Upscale classics with an offbeat twist are the remit at this hipster paradise. But veering from its stock’s minimalist bent, the likes of Common Projects sneakers ($412) and Acne sweaters ($320) are housed amid packing trunks and a menagerie of carved animals.
Rooting through is rewarding, though: amid the whimsy, picks from brands such as Canada Goose, Rag & Bone and Maison Kitsuné cover everything from swimwear to fragrances. All of which trumps an I Heart NY shirt in the souvenir stakes.
199 Lafayette St, (212) 966-0026; odinnewyork.com
A classic NYC townhouse, transformed into one of the biggest, boldest and best menswear shops in the city – if not the world.
35 Howard St, (212) 219-2688; openingceremony.us
Part boutique, part factory, 3×1 is the only place in the city where you can buy a pair of jeans and watch them being made.
A glass-walled factory sits in the middle of this airy, masculine shop in which pre-patterned (starting at $350) or bespoke (starting at $525) high-end selvedge denim jeans are cut, sewn and finished by some of the best artisans in the business.
15 Mercer St, (212) 391-6969; 3×1.us
Where to Drink
An NYC cocktail club that somehow manages to avoid pretension and deliver some of the best drinks in the city. Make ours a gin and tea-infused Earl Grey MarTEAni ($14).
77 W Houston St, (212) 473-7348; peguclub.com
Where to Rest
For the city that never sleeps, you need a boutique hotel where something is always going on – especially on nights and weekends. Rooms start at $180.
9 Crosby St, (646) 218-6400; nomosoho.com
Where to Caffeinate
La Colombe SOHO
Some of the best drip coffee and baked goods in the city. If you can’t get a seat – and in this tiny café, you won’t – sip your paper cup on a stroll to nearby Washington Square park and check out the outdoor chess tables where Stanley Kubrick once played.
270 Lafayette St, (212) 625-1717; lacolombe.com
Where to Eat
Burger & Barrel
Classic American burgers, fries and drinks done right at this always busy, but not overly trendy pub.
25 W Houston St, (212) 334-7320; burgerandbarrel.com
Where To Get Cultured
Come hungry and alert for amazing dim sum, bustling narrow streets and vibrant history in the largest enclave of Chinese emigrés in the Western Hemisphere.